Really glad to have attended the lecture by none other than MIT’s professor Robert Langer on 30th April 2018 held at SUTD (Singapore University of Technology and Design). Having worked on my PhD more than a decade ago on the topic of “controlled release devices using supercritical fluid technologies”, you can imagine that his pioneering work on polymeric controlled release devices inspired me and so many other researchers in this field at that time. I believe that it is fitting to name him as the grandmaster of drug delivery research.
My earlier work on supercritical fluid technologies for drug delivery include looking at the particle formation via supercritical antisolvent processes with paclitaxel as the model drug for sustained release demonstration. In more recent development, I have also worked with fabrication of microporous biopolymeric foam using supercritical CO2 foaming which can be used for applications in drug delivery, protein delivery, tissue engineering and etc.
Today, I am still actively in pursuit of my research interest in supercritical fluid technologies, but i have moved on to applications of food product processing, waste processing and sustainable development. Professor Bob Langer’s work is a perfect demonstration of the important and wonderful outcomes of a multidisciplinary research, where the fundamental principles in heat and mass transfer used in Chemical Engineering is used to solve problems in medical and biomedical fields.
His talk on the development of his research over the decades certainly inspired me and reignited my interest in polymeric drug delivery applications using supercritical fluid processing. Particularly, i believe that supercritical fluid processing provides opportunity for solvent-free product and process development and its unique qualities such as low processing temperature, tunable solubility and etc. has great potential on larger scale pharmaceutical and biomedical applications.